The week has barely started but I feel like I cannot possible talk about everything because what happened yesterday feels like eons ago.
I needed to prepare for my end of week game so I asked my mentor and a local assignor for a game. Any game as long as I could practice a few referee mechanics and shake off some field rust (if there is such a thing). It was a good decision because having been on the line for an extended period of time. I had to work a bit with my diagonal. It was a U18 Girls middle in a lower competition level. I wasn’t there to be a peacock referee but to do the game to the best of my ability and hopefully afford some practice. I started the first half off trying out my Blazza whistle. I was a little apprehensive making this choice because my gut feeling didn’t like the mouthpiece at first. The opening whistle was loud. It deafened even my own ears or maybe that’s because I hadn’t blown a whistle in a while. I had to lightly hit my ears to regain full hearing.
It was a fairly uneventful half with perhaps one missed foul but the game may have contained 3-5 fouls in total with the ball going end-to-end. I have always found the S-diagonal so difficult to adapt to because of the extra running involved. It wasn’t that I wasn’t running enough already but this needed more! This game wasn’t too fast so I was able to take the extra time to curve around the centre circle to get a side angle most of the time and get as deep as possible in the corners.
By the end of the first half, I had covered a very surprising 4.96 km. I was also very aware of feedback I received last year in a similar calibre game of the fact that running too much can give the impression of show-boating (I’m sure especially if I am burning crop circles around players). I was careful not to stray too far to the side of play and give that impression. I quickly switched back to my Fox 40s; of course matching my kit colours.
The second half kicked off and I was surprised that a few players from the home team appeared to be unhappy with the foul threshold I had set. To them it appeared to be very high since their man-marked opponents were larger than them. Most players battled for the ball equally as hard so there was nothing unfair from what I could see and my ARs agreed.
In the second half, there were one to three people kicking the ball about on the adjacent field. Suddenly the lights went out but they went on playing in the dark. as I could hear the ball ricochet off the crossbar and hit the net. When the ball rolled out for a goal kick, a person came running from the darkness near the corner flag (I assumed he was one of those players) and ran onto the field screaming. He took off his shirt and started waving it around. I raised my hand to the goalkeeper to indicate the restart shouldn’t be taken and warily watched what he would do. I was worried about any confrontation with me or any of the players. Luckily he ran across the diagonal of the field right through to the opposite end, climbed over the fence and disappeared. Everyone had a laugh and there, really was, nothing for me to do about it (unless he returned) so play resumed after a short while when things settled down. One of the players joked about sticking their leg out and tripping him but I’m glad they didn’t do that since I would have likely had to dismiss for VC.
Speaking of which, one particular player, unruly about my threshold, started acting up with a few retaliatory fouls. I tried to calm her down after the first one and she did, however, she continued feeling it was unfair. During a corner kick, she was involved with an opposing defender in a tussle that didn’t seem out of the ordinary (so I didn’t pick it out). After the ball had gone out for another corner kick, the defender approached to show that she had been scratched on the arm with wide nail marks. I couldn’t do anything since I hadn’t seen it and had the defender go get treatment for it. I looked at the attacker for a good few seconds to embarrass her, at the very least, and decided to stay in very close proximity for the remaining time in the game. I back-pedalled off the ensuing goal kick but stayed close. She looked at me a few times as I kept my patrol path very close to her (4-7 yards) wondering if I was about to address her but I focused on play while staying close to her. This was easy since play never ventured far and she was involved in play in those few minutes. I was annoyed I had missed the incident.
Second half was 4.95km and AR2 joked that I was slacking! It felt like a good workout but I really only felt the effects the day after.
I blocked off a lot of my availability this week to take rest and recover. Sometimes, it’s good to take a break from football but I would hardly call it that with the World Cup going everyday. Sometimes with all the drama and games, I wish there was a one day break in between so we can settle in and enjoy what happened! The pace is too fast for me to keep up with reviewing it and writing articles.
I’ve also had to take a closer look at foot care given that my foot is spending a lot of time in my mundial team shoes!
After experiencing abysmal behaviour, I decided to look up what exactly the discipline panel does not condone from coaches and spectators in terms of behaviour and came up with a list in, a somewhat, increasing order of severity.
- Persistent misconduct after given a warning
- Acts in a manner detrimental to the game
- Dismissal (ejection) from the game
- Returns to field of play after dismissal
- Racist/sexist comments
Everything is more severe when directed at a game official.
For spectators, simply:
- Persistent misconduct after warning or disrupting the game
I’m sure I could sleep during a World Cup game and still find out when a controversial incident happens even without watching it because my phone is almost buzzing and ringing off the hook with messages and discussions. Can’t wait until FIFA releases their DVD on the tournament. There have been plenty of incidents including the France-Honduras goal-line decision by GLT, Brych’s dismissal of Maxi Pereira and Mazic’s dismissal of Pepe.
The referees started with rather shaky performances in the first few games with crucial mistakes that may cost them but we are yet to see who will be sent home in the first round. I can’t help but feel bad for Nishimura for being conned by the Brazilian Fred into awarding a penalty kick for going down with minimal contact.
Things seemed to have settled down better now.
I can’t help but feel my season or at least the few weeks to follow this game is hinging on how it goes. I requested an assessment and it’s confirmed now.
I’ve co-ordinated uniforms with the rest of my team as well as pre-game duties so now it’s just the game to focus on.
Line in a local Cup match today with a FIFA referee! Feeling well-rested after three full days off.